Monday, 2 December 2013

Day One - Barreiro

A few weeks ago I wrote about a fabulous week that fired me up to prepare a To Do list for the next week.

To be fair a lot of that was achieved, but some items have carried over for my stay in one of the First Impression apartments in Barreiro, Lisbon to focus on writing for a week.

Here I've set myself a fairly aggressive target. Oh hell, let's get it out there:
I want to get to 25k of short stories finished by Friday night. 
I haven't checked my spreadsheet to know how far away from that I am, but given that many of my pieces are 1k - 2.5k, and there's not that many of them I consider finished, it's safe to say that's a pretty challenging goal.

One of my daily breaks will be to post an update on here, writing, reading, random thoughts, the fabulous local wine. Who knows.

I didn't start yesterday but to catch you up the content would have included: travel day, 4.20am start, little brain space for anything other than wow, weather. wow, apartment. wow, a whole week here. wow, I'm very tired.

So here's how today went.
I woke up thinking I was on a beach. The sun through the glass had strength and I read in bed listening to the square below waking up. The sounds of unstacking chairs around tables, welcoming locals for coffee, families with grandchildren meeting up.

For my next Reading To Write class I need to write a scene where one of my characters wants something from another one. I'm surprised at what I wrote for that this morning. Perhaps I was influenced by 'In The Cut' by Susanna Moore that I started reading this morning.
Maybe it was the Sarah Selecky daily exercise I did early: Write five sentences by an author you admire over and over for at least 10 minutes. Mine, from 'In a Strange room' by Damon Galgut, were:

"Why is violence always so easy to imagine but tenderness stays locked in words for me…Maybe horror is felt more easily from home…If your own pain is interesting to you, how much more detached will you be from someone else's pain…He has the air of someone holding his breath…Committed to a situation of which the outcome is unknown, travel and love have this much in common."

After writing them twice I knew them word for word and felt a strange power as I repeated them without thinking of the words but of all the paths these ideas could take in their own story.

At 13:09 I took off my watch. Everything here will happen on body time.

And now, almost time to turn on lights, I can reflect: I've done my "homework", a couple of writing prompt exercises, another draft of a story I've been working on for years, and wrote up my notes about a new one.

Soon I'm meeting the other two guests at the restaurant downstairs, and tomorrow I get to do it all over again.

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